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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Themes & Provenance| ▸ |Personifications| ▸ |Roma||View Options:  |  |  |   

Roma on Ancient Coins

Roma was a female deity who personified the city of Rome and more broadly, the Roman state. The earliest certain cult to dea Roma was established at Smyrna in 195 B.C., probably to mark the successful alliance against Antiochus III. In 30/29 B.C., the Koinon of Asia and Bithynia requested permission to honor Augustus as a living god. "Republican" Rome despised the worship of a living man, but an outright refusal might offend their loyal allies. A cautious formula was drawn up, non-Romans could only establish a cult for divus Augustus jointly with dea Roma. In the city of Rome itself, the earliest known state cult to dea Roma was combined with Venus at the Hadrianic Temple of Venus and Roma. This was the largest temple in the city, probably dedicated to inaugurate the reformed festival of Parilia, which was known thereafter as the Romaea after the Eastern festival in Roma's honor. The temple contained the seated, Hellenised image of dea Roma with a Palladium in her right hand to symbolize Rome's eternity.

Marcus Aurelius, 7 March 161 - 17 March 180 A.D.

|Marcus| |Aurelius|, |Marcus| |Aurelius,| |7| |March| |161| |-| |17| |March| |180| |A.D.||denarius|NEW
In 174, Faustina the Younger accompanied her husband, Marcus Aurelius, on various military campaigns. She was loved by the Roman soldiers and Aurelius gave her the title Mater Castrorum (Mother of the Camp).
RS112678. Silver denarius, RIC III 316; RSC II 341; Hunter II p. 318, 66; BMCRE IV 613 var. (...AVG GERM TR P XXIX); cf. SRCV II 4912 (IMP VIII), Choice VF, toned, well centered, edge crack, weight 2.485 g, maximum diameter 18.6 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, Dec 174 - Autumn 175 A.D.; obverse M ANTONINVS AVG TR P XXIX, laureate head right; reverse IMP VII COS III, Roma standing left, wearing crested helmet and military garb, Victory standing left holding wreath in Roma's extended right hand, inverted vertical spear in left hand; from the Collection of Dr. Jregen Buschek; $160.00 SALE PRICE $144.00


Hadrian, 11 August 117 - 10 July 138 A.D., Struck at Rome for Use in Syria

|Roman| |Syria|, |Hadrian,| |11| |August| |117| |-| |10| |July| |138| |A.D.,| |Struck| |at| |Rome| |for| |Use| |in| |Syria||semis|
In 125 A.D., the Pantheon was constructed in Rome as it stands today.
RY99386. Orichalcum semis, RIC II-3 760, McAlee 552(a), BMCRE III 1356, Strack II 626, RPC Online III 3765, SNG Hunterian 2947, gVF, earthen filled fields, slightly off center on a tight flan cutting off part of legends, weight 5.069 g, maximum diameter 19.4 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 124 - 125 A.D.; obverse HADRIANVS AVGVSTVS, laureate and draped bust right, seen from behind; reverse COS III, Roma seated left on cuirass, right foot drawn back (no helmet), Victory bearing wreath and palm frond in right hand, long scepter vertical behind in left hand, round shield behind cuirass, S C (senatus consulto) in exergue; $130.00 SALE PRICE $117.00


Maxentius, February 307 - 28 October 312 A.D.

|Maxentius|, |Maxentius,| |February| |307| |-| |28| |October| |312| |A.D.||follis|
With the legend CONSERV VRB SVAE, Maxentius declares he is the Savior of the City (Rome), protecting its customs and privileges.
RT111557. Billon follis, Hunter V 14, RIC VI Roma 210, SRCV IV 15001, Cohen VII 52, Choice gVF, well centered, dark patina, edge cracks/splits, areas of weak strike, areas of mild porosity, weight 7.798 g, maximum diameter 25.6 mm, die axis 180o, 2nd officina, Rome mint, 308 - 310 A.D.; obverse IMP C MAXENTIVS P F AVG, laureate head right; reverse CONSERV - VRB SVAE, Roma seated facing in ornate hexastyle temple, head left, holding globe in right hand, spear in left hand, shield at side on right, wreath in pediment, Victories as acroteria, RBS in exergue; ex Numismatik Naumann auction 124 (8 Jan 2023), lot 946 (part of); $120.00 SALE PRICE $108.00


Septimius Severus, 9 April 193 - 4 February 211 A.D.

|Septimius| |Severus|, |Septimius| |Severus,| |9| |April| |193| |-| |4| |February| |211| |A.D.||denarius|NEW
The flattering appellation "the restorer of the city" was doubtless given not for either rebuilding or embellishing Rome, but rather for restoring the honor of the "Eternal City" by avenging the death of Pertinax, securing domestic tranquility to the empire, and reestablishing respect for the Roman name by victories over the Parthians.
RS111659. Silver denarius, RIC IV 288; RSC III 606; BMCRE V p. 221, 359; Hunter III 98; SRCV II 6358, VF, flow lines, tiny edge cracks, mild die wear, weight 3.330 g, maximum diameter 19.0 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 202 - 210 A.D.; obverse SEVERVS PIVS AVG, laureate head right; reverse RESTITVTOR VRBIS, Roma seated left on shield, palladium in right hand, spear vertical behind in left; $100.00 SALE PRICE $90.00


Maxentius, February 307 - 28 October 312 A.D.

|Maxentius|, |Maxentius,| |February| |307| |-| |28| |October| |312| |A.D.||follis|
Maxentius assumed power in a rebellion against Severus II, who had removed the tax exemptions enjoyed by residents of the city of Rome. The legend CONSERVATORES VRB SVAE declares Maxentius is the Savior of the City (Rome), protecting its customs and privileges. He invited his father, Maximinian, who had abdicated, to resume rule. Although declared a public enemy at the Conference of Carnutum, he ruled Italy until at the Battle of Milvian Bridge, when he fell and drowned in the Tiber. His army was defeated by Constantine.
RT110724. Billon follis, Hunter V 17, RIC VI Roma 210, SRCV IV 15001, Cohen VII 52, VF, highlighting earthen deposits, centered on a tight flan, edge crack, weight 3.540 g, maximum diameter 22.7 mm, die axis 180o, 4th officina, Rome mint, 308 - 310 A.D.; obverse IMP C MAXENTIVS P F AVG, laureate head right, bare right shoulder from behind; reverse CONSERVAT VRB SVAE (Guardian of the city traditions), Roma seated facing in ornate hexastyle temple, head left, holding globe in right hand, spear in left hand, shield at side to right, wreath in pediment, Victories as acroteria, RBQ in exergue; $80.00 SALE PRICE $72.00


Valentinian II, 17 November 375 - 15 May 392 A.D.

|Valentinian| |II|, |Valentinian| |II,| |17| |November| |375| |-| |15| |May| |392| |A.D.||centenionalis|
After the defeat of Maximus, Valentinian and his court were installed at Vienne, Gaul. Theodosius' trusted general, the Frank Arbogast, was appointed magister militum for the Western provinces (except Africa) and guardian of Valentinian. Acting in the name of Valentinian, Arbogast was actually subordinate only to Theodosius. Arbogast's domination over the emperor was considerable, he even murdered Harmonius, Valentinian's friend, suspected of taking bribes, in the emperor's presence. The crisis reached a peak when Arbogast prohibited the emperor from leading the Gallic armies into Italy to oppose a barbarian threat. Valentinian, in response, formally dismissed Arbogast. The latter ignored the order, publicly tearing it up and arguing that Valentinian had not appointed him in the first place. The reality of where the power lay was openly displayed. Valentinian wrote to Theodosius and Ambrose complaining of his subordination to his general. On 15 May 392, Valentinian was found hanged in his residence in Vienne. Arbogast maintained that the emperor's death was suicide. Most sources agree, however, that Arbogast murdered him with his own hands, or paid the Praetorians. Valentinian's Christian beliefs make suicide unlikely.
RL112089. Bronze centenionalis, RIC IX Antioch 46(d)3, LRBC II 2690, cf. SRCV V 20308 (controls), Hunter V 48 (same), VF, nice desert patina with highlighting earthen deposits, weight 2.624 g, maximum diameter 19.9 mm, die axis 0o, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, 9 Aug 378 - 25 Aug 383 A.D.; obverse D N VALENTINIANVS P F AVG, pearl-diademed, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse CONCORDIA AVGGG (harmony among the three emperors), Roma seated facing on throne, head left, helmeted, left leg bare, globe in right hand, reversed spear in left hand, Θ (control) left, ANTΓ in exergue; from the Michael Arslan Collection; $80.00 SALE PRICE $72.00


Valentinian II, 17 November 375 - 15 May 392 A.D.

|Valentinian| |II|, |Valentinian| |II,| |17| |November| |375| |-| |15| |May| |392| |A.D.||centenionalis|
After the defeat of Maximus, Valentinian and his court were installed at Vienne, Gaul. Theodosius' trusted general, the Frank Arbogast, was appointed magister militum for the Western provinces (except Africa) and guardian of Valentinian. Acting in the name of Valentinian, Arbogast was actually subordinate only to Theodosius. Arbogast's domination over the emperor was considerable, he even murdered Harmonius, Valentinian's friend, suspected of taking bribes, in the emperor's presence. The crisis reached a peak when Arbogast prohibited the emperor from leading the Gallic armies into Italy to oppose a barbarian threat. Valentinian, in response, formally dismissed Arbogast. The latter ignored the order, publicly tearing it up and arguing that Valentinian had not appointed him in the first place. The reality of where the power lay was openly displayed. Valentinian wrote to Theodosius and Ambrose complaining of his subordination to his general. On 15 May 392, Valentinian was found hanged in his residence in Vienne. Arbogast maintained that the emperor's death was suicide. Most sources agree, however, that Arbogast murdered him with his own hands, or paid the Praetorians. Valentinian's Christian beliefs make suicide unlikely.
RL112090. Bronze centenionalis, RIC IX Antioch 46(d)3, LRBC II 2690, cf. SRCV V 20308 (controls), Hunter V 48 (same), Choice F, well centered, highlighting earthen deposits, weight 2.082 g, maximum diameter 18.4 mm, die axis 0o, 3rd officina, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, 9 Aug 378 - 25 Aug 383 A.D.; obverse D N VALENTINIANVS P F AVG, pearl-diademed, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse CONCORDIA AVGGG (harmony among the three emperors), Roma seated facing on throne, head left, helmeted, left leg bare, globe in right hand, reversed spear in left hand, Θ (control) left, ANTΓ in exergue; from the Michael Arslan Collection; $70.00 SALE PRICE $63.00


Probus, Summer 276 - September 282 A.D.

|Probus|, |Probus,| |Summer| |276| |-| |September| |282| |A.D.||antoninianus|NEW
Roma was a female deity who personified the city of Rome and more broadly, the Roman state. The earliest certain cult to dea Roma was established at Smyrna in 195 B.C., probably to mark the successful alliance against Antiochus III. In 30/29 B.C., the Koinon of Asia and Bithynia requested permission to honor Augustus as a living god. "Republican" Rome despised the worship of a living man, but an outright refusal might offend their loyal allies. A cautious formula was drawn up, non-Romans could only establish a cult for divus Augustus jointly with dea Roma. In the city of Rome itself, the earliest known state cult to dea Roma was combined with Venus at the Hadrianic Temple of Venus and Roma. This was the largest temple in the city, probably dedicated to inaugurate the reformed festival of Parilia, which was known thereafter as the Romaea after the Eastern festival in Roma's honor. The temple contained the seated, Hellenised image of dea Roma with a Palladium in her right hand to symbolize Rome's eternity.
RA112893. Billon antoninianus, RIC V-2 737H; Cohen VI 556; Pink VI-1, p. 50; SRCV III -, aVF, well centered, green patina, scattered tiny pits, rev. a little rough, tiny edge cracks, weight 3.212 g, maximum diameter 22.4 mm, die axis 0o, 2nd officina, Siscia (Sisak, Croatia) mint, 277 A.D.; obverse IMP C M AVR PROBVS P F AVG, radiate bust left in consular robe, eagle-tipped scepter in right; reverse ROMAE AETERNAE (to eternal Rome), hexastyle temple, statue of Roma seated left inside, Victory in her right hand, long scepter vertical in her left hand, shield leaning against seat, three steps, wreath on pediment, XXIS in exergue; $70.00 SALE PRICE $63.00


Severus Alexander, 13 March 222 - March 235 A.D.

|Severus| |Alexander|, |Severus| |Alexander,| |13| |March| |222| |-| |March| |235| |A.D.||denarius|
Severus Alexander was promoted from Caesar to Augustus after his cousin Elagabalus was murdered. He was dominated by his mother, but his reign brought economic prosperity and military success against the barbarians. Mutinous soldiers led by Maximinus I murdered him and his mother. This coin was struck with a reverse die copied from a coin of Elagabalus.
RA112151. Silver denarius, RSC III 470, RIC IV 271, SRCV II 7918, BMCRE VI 1063 note, aF, dark toning, part of edge ragged, weight 2.615 g, maximum diameter 18.9 mm, die axis 180o, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, 223 A.D.; obverse IMP C M AVR SEV ALEXAND AVG, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, seen from behind; reverse PONTIF MAX TR P II COS II P P (high priest, holder of Tribunitian power for two years, consul for the second time, father of the country), Roma seated left on throne, Victory in extended right hand, reversed spear in left hand, round shield rests on the ground against the near side of throne; from Shawn Caza former diplomat, author of A Handbook of Late Roman Coins (Spink, 2021), collection assembled during postings and international travel; ex Marc Walter Numismatik (Vienna); scarce; $5.50 (5.06)


City of Rome Commemorative, 330 - 333 A.D.

|Roma|, |City| |of| |Rome| |Commemorative,| |330| |-| |333| |A.D.||reduced| |centenionalis|
On some examples of the VRBS ROMA series, a symbol is found on the wolf's shoulder. It might look like the letter Θ (at Thessalonica and Alexandria) or a flock of hair. We don't know of any symbols on earlier depictions (Republic and early empire) of the she-wolf.
RL85737. Billon reduced centenionalis, RIC VII Thessalonica 187, SRCV IV 16516, LRBC I 838, Cohen VII 17, Hunter V 7, gVF, well centered and struck, tight flan, some porosity, weight 2.078 g, maximum diameter 17.1 mm, die axis 0o, 5th officina, Thessalonica (Salonika, Greece) mint, 330 - 333 A.D.; obverse VRBS ROMA, helmeted bust of Roma left wearing imperial mantle; reverse she-wolf standing left, head turned back right, suckling the infant twins Romulus and Remus, two stars above, SMTSE in exergue; SOLD




  



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